At Just The Right Time

By David Langerfeld
The Daily Encourager - InJesus.com

In 2005, I was part of a medical-dental mission team to Latacunga, Ecuador. While preaching one night, my stomach began to hurt. I assumed maybe it was the food or maybe it was the 8000' altitude, but I was confident that it would soon go away after some Pepto-Bismul.

It didn't go away. Later that night, my discomfort turned into immense pain and moved to my right side. One of my roommates, a plastic surgeon, heard my cries of anguish and made a tentative diagnosis. After a confirmation by another surgeon on our team, I had to have an emergency appendectomy the next day.

When I shared this with a relative, he laughed and said, "Well, looks like you were in the wrong place at the wrong time." What a great opportunity for me to share my faith. I told him it was just the opposite. God had everything prepared for me. He had the right people, in the right place, at the right time.

The Right People
First of all, God had the right people - a surgeon, a surgical nurse and a surgical nurse translator who were part of our Medical-Dental Mission Team.

The Right Place
Second, God had me in the right place. If this had happened in the middle of the night at my home in Tupelo, I wouldn't have had a surgeon in the room with me to diagnosis the problem. I wouldn't have had nurses in the next room to take care of me before and after the surgery. I would have been trying to locate someone in the middle of the night to stay with my wife, Lynda, who is disabled.

The Right Time
Third, God did this at just the right time - If this had happened one day earlier, we would have had one fewer doctor and two fewer nurses to work in the clinic on our busiest day of the week. If this had happened just one day later, I would have been in an airplane over the Gulf of Mexico and the outcome could have been much different. In fact, if this had happened one day later, I might not be here sharing this with you.

The Right People in the Right Place at the Right Time
I could write a separate sermon on each one these points, but today, I want to focus on just the last one. Romans 5:6 says, "You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly." The first part of this verse has taken on new meaning to me. "At just the right time, when we were weak and powerless..."

That night in the motel room in Ecuador, I was physically weak and powerless.

But God had already prepared for me...
God had already provided for me…
God had already protected me...

Although I will always be grateful for his physical provision in this situation, it pales in comparison to his spiritual provision. Look at the scripture once again, "You see, at just the right time, when we were powerless, Christ died for the ungodly."

When I was powerless to save myself.
When I was powerless to forgive myself.
When I was unable to avoid spending eternity in Hell
When I was unable to pay for my sin
Christ paid the price for my sin
Christ died on the Cross for me

At just the right time, Jesus Christ died for this ungodly sinner.

Have you noticed that God works 'At Just The Right Time'? We all tend to become anxious and we want to know what's going to happen, when it's going to happen and where we are going to be when it happens.

We all tend to get ahead of God. We rely on our own plans, our own thoughts and our own abilities. We want something to happen, so we try to force it to happen. We know how it ought to be done, so we try to make it work the way we want it to work. Sometimes, we even wait on God for a little while, and pray about it for a long time, and when he doesn't do it our way, or he doesn't do it as soon as we want it done we go ahead and do it our way.

Remember Abraham and Sarah - God had promised them an heir. Obviously the time for child-bearing had passed for Sarah, and so they became anxious and took matters into their own hands. They ended up having a son by Hagar, their servant. Then look what happened - at "Just the Right Time," Isaac was born.

Move on further in the book of Genesis to Joseph - He was sold into slavery by his brothers. He was imprisoned by Potiphar even when he did the right thing when Potiphar's wife tried to seduce him. He was left in prison and forgotten. Nobody remembered him.

Even when did the right thing once again and helped some fellow prisoners and they were set free, he was left in prison once again - forgotten. Yet, at "Just the Right Time" he is placed in charge of the grain distribution. He is able to help his family and the nation of Israel in a unique and special way, because he was put in charge - at just the right time.

This is only the beginning. Think of all the other Bible characters that were able to accomplish great things, because God did something at just the right time - The 3 Hebrew children delivered from the fiery furnace, Daniel delivered from the Lions' den, Jonah delivered from the belly of a fish, Job, Elijah, David - the list is overwhelming.

In the life of Jesus there are also people with chronic illness or pain that He met "at just the Right Time." Take for instance the woman who had suffered from bleeding for many years and had never been healed, but "at just the right time" Jesus healed her.

Lazarus' sister Martha was so bold that she told Jesus if he had been there, that her brother wouldn't have died. Martha was assuming that the world's timing was God's timing. She felt hopeless and helpless because it was obvious that nothing else could be done because her brother was dead. But at just the right time, Jesus arrived. At just the right time, he did a miracle. At just the right time, Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead.

My personal favorite is Blind Bartimeaus. He was begging outside of a house in Jericho. Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem. It was the last earthly journey Jesus would make before his crucifixion. Blind Bartimeaus was in the right place at the right time when the right person was walking down the street in front of him. If he hadn't shouted out for Jesus - he never would have been healed. If he had waited for a better time, a more convenient time - he would have missed out on a miracle, because Jesus was never coming to Jericho again. At just the right time, Blind Bartimeaus was healed.

But most importantly, at just the right time, Jesus Christ died for the ungodly. And because of that, we can receive spiritual healing. We can be forgiven for our sin and we can have eternal life.

You may be asking yourselves,
How can I know when it's the right time?
How can I make sure that I'm following God's timetable and not my own?
What can I do to insure that God will work in my life at just the right time?

The answer is simple. It's in the middle of our scripture. "You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly." "When we were still powerless." - That's the key.

If you're here today and you're not a Christian, you have to admit that you're powerless. You have to recognize that you're powerless to save yourself and to turn to the only one who does have the power to save you - Jesus Christ. You have to ask Jesus to forgive you of your sin, to save you and to come into you heart to live in you forever as your Lord and Savior. But it all begins when ready to admit that you're powerless to save yourself and you surrender yourself to him.

What about all of us Christians that are in this sanctuary today? We have to do the same thing. We have to admit that we're powerless to live the Christian life. It is only when we accept the fact that we are powerless that we can have the full power of Christ.

If we can meet our own needs, God doesn't need to meet them, They're already met.

If we can make our own plans, God doesn't need to direct us. We're already going where we want to go.

If have our own resources, we don't need God's resources we're already relying on ourselves.

If we can do it in our own strength, we don't need God's strength. We're doing just fine on our own.

In Luke 9:23, Jesus said, "If any man wants to be my disciple, let him deny himself daily, take up the cross and follow me."

What does it mean to deny yourself? It means that you have to admit that you're powerless. It means that you have to;

surrender your plans to God's plans
surrender your strength to God's strength
surrender your power for God's power and
surrender your will to God's will.

When you finally admit that you're powerless to do anything is when God will show you his power that he can do everything.

Let me repeat that...
When you finally admit that you're powerless to do anything is when God will show you his power that he can do everything.

Throughout the ages, God has been working at "Just the Right Time". Daily we need to put our faith and trust in God knowing that He works at "Just the Right Time" to supply our needs — and in some cases our desires as well.

Can you think of times in your own life when God supplied your needs at "Just the Right Time"? Take heart. He knew your need then - He knows your need today!

God knows your heartache and your pain, and as He told Paul in 2 Corinthians 12:9, His grace is sufficient for each day. He has not forgotten you.

Just when you need his provision,
just when you need his protection,
just when you need his comfort,
just when you need his mercy and his grace,
just when you need his love,
God will provide it - at just the right time.

Have you gotten ahead of God? Have you made your own plans and then asked him to bless your plans? Have you turned away from God because he hasn't given you what you want when you wanted it? Are you waiting patiently? Are you trusting him? Are you getting ahead of God? Are you trying to force him to speed up his pace?

At just the right time, Christ died of the ungodly. At the just the right time Christ died on the cross for you. At just the right time he will deliver you or lead you through whatever you're facing today. Be patent - wait on his timing - look for his answer - it will come, at just the right time.